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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Payback (1999)



Reviews and Comments

Mel Gibson plays Porter, and all he wants is his money back. Nobody seems to understand that.

This movie is all about tone. It succeeds because it creates a certain enticing mood and never falters with it. However true, it is an oversimplification to call this movie "dark." It is, but there's more to it than that. There's the undercurrent of black humor. There's the utter and sincere conviction of the characters, coupled with the uncanny sense that the actors are having all kinds of fun with their roles but don't let on. There's the washed out color palette and the edgy tenor of the narration. And there's Mel Gibson's screen presence. I don't think the movie would have worked as well with another actor in the lead role; Gibson knows how to play it straight and still make things funny.

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